Category Archives: Collective Design Works

6 Ways to Establish Trust as a New eCommerce Retailer


  1. Flaunt your Compliments

When customers rave about your business, flaunt it!  Posting gushing reviews on your website helps future customers feel more secure.

  1. Activate Your Social Game

Yes you have a Facebook and maybe even an Instagram account, but a post every six months is not enough.  Regular posting of new products, insider content, chatting up confused customers, are all part of the necessary social media game.

  1. FAQ

Answer questions before they are asked! Show customers that you are always one step ahead of tem and think of every possible scenario a buyer could go through.  Create a FAQ page and utilize thorough product descriptions.  Offer clear policies on shipping and returning items.  Customers who have a positive and easy return experience are actually more likely to shop with you again.

  1. Introduce Yourself

It is easier for customers to trust a business with a face, so introduce yourself and your brand.  Spotlight the people working behind the computers and you will create a sense of human connection.

  1. Connect

Make yourself available so your customers can connect with you.  Be available and responsive with email, phone, social media, and online forms.

  1. Compete

If you are willing to put your brand out there in direct competition, consider offering a comparison chart.  You can set up a comparison table breaking down what your products offer and what your competitors offer.  This shows strong confidence in your product.

Pantone Café: Taste the Color


When nutritionist recommend eating colorful foods, this may not be what they are thinking.  From July 14th to September 9th you will be able to eat Pantone-hue colored foods at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

Founded in 1963, Pantone became the most innovative system of coding exact color hues in the graphic design and printing world. Since then, Pantone has collaborated with makeup brands, fashion houses, technology companies, and many other industries.    Now they have moved on to their latest adventure – food.

The Pantone Café serves eclairs, ice cream, coffee, ice cream, all tinted with precise shades of pantone colors.  Don’t worry, only high-quality all natural ingredients are used to obtain these colors, the food is does not contain artificial dyes.

Check out the Pantone Café website or follow them on Instagram to get regular pictures of their colorful treats!



Are QR codes still a thing?

hands-1167612_1920In 2010 you may have downloaded a QR code reader to your smart phone and determinedly read codes on mailers, coffee shop flyers, and any place you could find one. But was 2010 also the last time you bothered to scan one?

Still, QR codes are more prevalent than ever, even appearing on fast food wrappers, offering direct links to nutritional guides.   The question remains, is anyone actually using them?

Developed in 1994, QR codes began as specialty barcodes for Japanese car manufacturers.  By the early 2010’s they filtered into marketing and everyday life as an easy way to link from the real world to online – long urls, videos, even interactive games.

Today, marketers love to use QR codes, and the vast majority rank QR codes as “very effective” or “effective.” Yet a 2013 study found that only 21% of American smartphone users have EVER scanned a QR code.  So, what does this mean?  Not many people use QR codes, but there is a reason marketers love them – it is really effective for those who do use them, and the majority of marketers feel that the level of engagement is worth the effort.

The majority of those who regularly use QR codes are either tech-obsessed or young adults in the 22-35 age range. Our advice – if neither of these groups are in your primary target audience, don’t ever bother.  If they are, consider trying some simple A/B testing with your next direct mail piece – one piece with a url to a landing page, and one piece with a QR code linking to a separate landing page, and then watch your analytics to see what happens!

If you do choose to experiment with QR codes, do keep some best practices in mind:

  1. Strategically place the code so the customer can easily see it, recognize it, and have no issues scanning it. (This may seem obvious, but do NOT place it on a TV ad, or even a t-shirt where it is impossible to scan)
  2. Ensure the linked content is mobile optimized as it will only be accessed via mobile devices.
  3. Link to content specifically created for and related to the in-progress marketing campaign, not a generic landing page.
  4. Provide motivation for scanning! Do not place a QR code in a vacuum.  Instead offer a reward – a coupon code, a special recipe, an exclusive video, some form of immediate gratification.

Locally Printing Your Online Wedding Invitation

IMG_5172While our graphic design team here at Collective Design Works is happy to create a completely custom wedding invitation set, we know many of you have already fallen in love with one of the thousands of stunning online invitation design available in online stores like Etsy.  We are delighted you have found the perfect invitation for your wedding!

Often the most cost effective option is to purchase the design from the online store and have the invitation printed locally, completely circumventing shipping costs.  Not only is this option cost efficient, but it also allows you the opportunity carefully select the perfect paper and to review and approve a printed proof in person.

Contact Collective Design Works for personal assistance with your wedding or special event invitation. Call (423) 591-8656.

How to Stand Out in a World of Pocket Folders – A Case Study

Hickory Valley Senior Living Community approached Collective Design Works about updating their pocket folders.  Like most of the senior living communities and apartment communities in the region, Hickory Valley has always depended on a pocket folder with several inserts detailing different amenities and rates.  Linda Shriver-Buckner, the Hickory Valley Sales Director, was searching for a new look that would create a lasting impression.


Our design team had an idea – get rid of the pocket folder!  Instead, we will design and print a book to encompass all of your marketing material in a high end yet cost-efficient format.  The book format would also allow more personalization and  more photos.  It also addresses a common complaint from the community about the pocket folders that , “many times the inserts from the pocket folder would fall out or get lost.”  After discussion, one compromise was made to the book format.  The book itself would contain an interior pocket to hold rate cards.  This way the books could be ordered confidently in large quantities as a permanent piece, and yet still allow for rate changes.


The end result is a spiral bound book with a luxurious feel due to the linen textured cover.  The colorful pages full of pictures highlight the community.  Sales director Linda Buckner adds, “The books have been a creative alternative to the standard pocket folders used by other communities.  They balance our need to stand out and share important information about our community to our prospective residents. ”



Moving Day

revized moving

It’s moving day here at Collective Design Works!

Chaos reigns as we set up computers, phones, and haul in our digital printer, cutter, binding equipment and more.  The move is fueled by fresh coffee from our new neighbor Niedlov’s and an endless supply of diet Mountain Dew.  Look at our moving day photos to get a sneak peek of our new office on Main Street directly next to breakfast favorite Bluegrass Grill.  Stop by any time meet out staff and take a tour!

Collective Designs Works is Moving to the Southside

CDW_front view_w_signage


Collective Design Works is packing up desks and files and even our printer as we prepare to move to a new location more convenient to you!  We will soon be located at 55 E. Main Street in the heart of Chattanooga’s Southside.  Our doors will be open starting November 16th.

Feel free to drop by to take a tour of our facility, see our printer, meet our website designer, review paper types, or discuss your latest project.  We look forward to seeing you there!